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Issues and Insights

This page provides links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research. The entries are drawn from a wide range of sources, including national newspapers, magazines and websites. If you come across interesting transportation reading that might deserve posting here, let us know at [email protected]

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The latest data on US climate pollution is very bad: Freight and coal drive emissions Vox, Jan 12, 2022 - In 2021, Americans got back on the road, crowded onto airplanes again, and ordered even more goods online. And now greenhouse gas emissions are fast approaching pre-pandemic levels.US emissions appear to be rising slightly faster than the economy is growing
Shipping Expenses in the US Go Through the Roof  Wolf street, Jan 13, 2022 - Shippers in the US – from manufacturers to mom-and-pop online retailers – have been wailing about it all year in 2021, and it got worse as the year went on: Surging shipping costs. Freight companies, facing numerous obstacles, jacked up prices amid strong demand. And the result is a historic spike in the amount that shippers paid to transportation companies.
No, Really, Flying Taxis Are Getting Close to Takeoff Bloomberg, Jan. 13, 2022 - Startups around the globe are in the final stage of developing and refining the technology behind what the industry calls eVTOLs, or electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. These flying taxis are battery-powered and, the companies say, destined to fly without a pilot—once regulations allow.
Six Solutions to Watch for 2022 Next City, Jan 3, 2022 - How and when we will completely emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is still a question mark — but that uncertainty won’t stop Next City from looking around the corner for the next solution to amplify. Community organizers, policy experts and advocates for a more equitable world continue to address pressing challenges and find ways to improve our cities. Here are six ideas we’ll keep reporting on in the coming year.
The Problem With Electric Trucks CityLab, Oct. 7 2021 - The problem is, while these trucks are reducing the ecological destruction of motor vehicles, they are exacerbating another public health crisis: traffic violence. The auto industry is greening itself by building vehicles that will make our streets run red.  
Five Ways Technology Will Change Transportation In 2022 Forbes, Dec 22, 2021 - As we reflect on two consecutive years of community disruption, one area has remained a critical lifeline: our transportation systems. From personal cars to buses and trains, Americans have relied on transportation to get to work, access critical amenities or care for their families. Although the pandemic presented new challenges for the transportation industry, it also created new opportunities for innovation
Charting a Roadmap to Cleaner Air in the Face of Resurgent Emissions US News, Dec. 13, 2021 -As carbon dioxide levels return to pre-pandemic levels, a new study suggests changes in both policy and behavior are needed...while the long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on worldwide carbon dioxide levels is still unclear, data compiled and analyzed by an international team of scientists points to a disappointing reality; Worldwide carbon dioxide levels didn’t drop an extraordinary amount due to the pandemic. Additionally, the world is quickly returning to the pre-COVID international carbon dioxide levels.
The Cities That Battle Winter With Beets CityLab, December 15, 2021 - D.C., like many cities, has long relied on a potion of beet-enhanced brine to coat its roads. The extract of sugar beets, when combined with traditional ice-melting chlorides, can be more effective at lowering the freezing point of water than salt alone (here’s how the chemistry works). It’s also more biodegradable and less corrosive to vehicles.
Amtrak’s FY21: Despite COVID-19, ridership and revenue grew, new projects and initiatives introduced, Dec. 14, 2021 - Amtrak’s 50th anniversary fiscal year is coming to an end, which saw the passenger rail provider advance its COVID-19 recovery efforts through continued safety measures for customers and employees, increased train service levels in line with growing demand and continued building of a strong foundation for modernization and growth.  
Colorado debates pro-climate planning rule Colorado Newsline, Dec. 13, 2021 - Environmental advocates are feeling hopeful as Colorado’s 11-member Transportation Commission nears a vote this week on a proposal to make state transportation planning processes more climate-friendly — but the rule’s supporters say the key will be in how the program is implemented in the months and years to come.
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